Thursday, June 07, 2012

Drama Writing ~ Ray Bradbury

Here you have it, the secret to all good writing, and that is drama! “I’m leaving, it’s personal.” That’s a statement trying to drum up drama but not being skilled, the person loses their mark. When drama happens it is important to show, and that means details. Telling someone something is not drama. You can tell someone you’re leaving but without the details of showing, you just come off as a whiney drama king or queen. Your character musters no sympathy when they TELL, your reader wants details and showing them is the only way.

Yesterday we lost a great writer, Mr. Ray Bradbury; he was 91 years old. This man knew the art of drama and if anyone is a reader of good works, you’ve read at least (at least) one of his books. They called him an iconic Science- fiction writer, but really, can you put a name on art like that? He was an artist who knew the written word, period! With such titles as “The Martian Chronicles”, “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked this way Comes”, he showed writers the edge of humanity and took them on a ride through wondrous worlds.

The writing world is in mourning for this artist that taught us a little about the way the written word is to be received. When I read a book, so many times I’m dissecting the way it is written; the plot, theme, the drama of it all; I lose pertinent elements of the story. Mr. Bradbury had a way to make me forget that I’m a writer and made me a reader of his words. I’d dive in, become entranced by the story, and by the end of the book I was sighing thinking, “Why did it have to end?” So I’d begin reading it again as a writer, dissecting sentences, fishing for structure, and finding all the points that made this a wonderful read.

My point here being, that Ray Bradbury had a way with words. We as writers would do him justice if we learned from him and anything he wrote. Sure he was pegged a sci-fi author, but he was so much more, just as Stephen King is more than a horror story master. They are masterful writers of drama! Any way you read it, the drama is spilling out of the pages, and it is with that, you finish reading with a sigh.

Drama can mean a play or screenwriting, but today’s blog topic is more about intense, in your face drama that a reader connects with. It might be considered conflict, but that is more physical action in your writing. Drama is the intense feeling you get as a reader of what will happen next. It’s the ability to bring home a page-turner for the reader, like Ray Bradbury had the knack of doing for us.

So when you want to be a drama queen, don’t just tell people, “I’m leaving, it’s personal.” Give the reader something to be intently involved with. “I’m leaving this place because Burt has abused me for the last time! Bruises and hospital visits are over, and so are we!” NOW you want to know…the rest of the story.

Rest in Peace Mr. Bradbury! Long live your words!

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